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· Registered
2,862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone once told me or maybe I read it somewhere, but the story had to do with the fact that house flies in China no longer exist. Seems the People's Republic required everyone to kill and turn in ten flies per day or face serious punishment. China is so well organized, being a completely regulated society, that the government was able to enforce this project. Apparently the bio-mass of flies suddenly dropped too low for survival and extinction resulted. You just can't have a pair of two of the filthy little beasts and have them reproduce in sufficient numbers to make up for attrition. Wow!

Might this or is this happening to our steelhead? After the abysmal runs this fall, one has to ask. WDFW has the same old tired answers and can't be counted on to save the fish. They have proven themselves to be totally incompetent. So do we just lose our magnificent fish? Will steelhead become the Atlantic Salmon of the East Coast? Over my dead body!

Yet, I stand discouraged. Oh yea, there are a few people on this web who might support CnR for wild fish. But other than these few, where are the rest? Why don't others weigh in? Is it that this topic has been hashed to death? Maybe the latter is the case. But the problem persists and so we must hash it over and over again, always hoping to win a few more converts, always hoping for some new argument that will win more people to the CnR side and stop the killing of the few remaining wild steelhead.

While I don't want to start a fight with the gear boys ( I was one for many years until I hung up my baits and switched to flies forever), they are not a particularly conservation minded bunch. Most fish for meat. No twenty pound Hoh River buck will ever be slipped back into the water. Sure there are exceptions and I hope if you are one, you'll try to convince others. But you are in for a tough fight.

But here is a plan. The pen (read e-mail) is a powerful sword. So I would like to see a list of e-mail sites where the following people can be contacted for a little note. It doesn't have to amount to much, just that you are worried about extinction and want a state-wide closure on wild steelhead.
Maybe someone who is big on this idea could look up and post the websites for each of the following:
The Secretary of the Interior.
The two U.S. Senators, Murphy and Caldwell.
As many U.S.Congressmen as possible.
The Governor, Locke
All WA. State Senators.
All WA State Congressmen
If you think it will do any good, ( I don't), then mail a few to any WDFW personnel you can think of or know.

To lessen your burden, send the same message to all of the above; they will never know; they never compare e-mail..
Please help in this effort!
Robert J. Lawless:thumb


· Just an Old Man
35,204 Posts
I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

Bob. After reading what you wrote made me think of the hatchery returns in the Puget Sound streams this year. Did they plant the fish like they said they did or was the planting just a ploy to make all of us fishers happy. Because I checked most of the returns this year and some of them are in just double figures. Are they trying to tell us that this is because they all died in the ocean. I just can't buy that excuse.

I remember one year that there was a big fish kill on the N/Fork Stilly. Right after they released the smolts they all started dying. There were dead or dying fish all over the river below White horse rearing ponds. It's times like these that you give thanks for wild fish but this years there don't even seem to be any of them.


" Most fish for meat"
" They are not particulary conservation minded"
Seem's like to have any chance at all to save " our"
steelhead it will take everybody seeing eye to eye
on this issue. So why start off by pissing off such
a high percentage of the fishing population " Gear Boys
with such ignorant elitist statments?
William E Peck

· Registered
2,581 Posts
I happen to have the opportunity a few weeks back to fish with some gear guys. It was a learning situation:

I felt like a trader to some degree but on the other side I felt completely comfortable fishing side by side with gear guys. They were really neat individuals and seemed to take great care of the wild fish they caught. No pictures were taken and they quickly released them unharmed. They did in fact keep all hatchery fish that were caught and quickly marked their catch cards without exceeding their limits.

I have to admit that I watched and learned what they were doing and thus the result were some techniques I could incorporate into my fly fishing. These techniques have resulted in 3 steelhead since...I have to give thanks to these guys for this.

We did have a converstaion at one point and they questioned why I would use a fly rod and why I was so against baitcasting when the numbers are so much higher. This was an opportunity to portray how, why, and for what reasons I preferred fly fishing. It was a great conversation but I doubt they will convert.

My point: to some it is all about numbers and and the excitement of catching every time you go out. To others its the excitement of simply being outdoors with the possibility of maybe hooking into a steelhead?? In my mind it comes down to the subject we face in every decision we make....personal prefference based on emotional feelings and thoughts???? I dont like the idea that the numbers caught are as high as they are but its legal and thus I dont feel its wrong??? However I do prefer to fly fish for them myself and at this point in my life I dont feel I will ever pick up a baitcasting rod to fish for these beasts. But this is my personal preferrence and outlook on the subject ;-)

~Patrick ><>

· Registered
18 Posts
I know we have the Dam's and some of the timber practices are not fish friendly. But I have to wonder and point to the massive fish processors. These guys come in with a vengeance. Combined all three, wow, it's hard to comprehend the demands on the fishery. I think your right on Bob. We have to start taking responsibility and action if change is going to take place.


· Banned
126 Posts
Is this one of those stories from Boblawless or is he speaking what he actually believes??

First of all, I called Senator Caldwell today. Well atleast I tried as nobody in Washington DC could track down a Senator Caldwell.

Anyways! Bob's pessemistic attitude thankfully, is rare! There are many out there doing what they can to fight for the survival of our wild steelhead. It is one tough uphill battle but strides are being made!!

The largest problem I have with Bob's post, is his desire to segregate the various type of fishermen, the vast majority of us want the same goal: Statewide wild steelhead release year round, no exceptions, because we want more wild steelhead in our rivers!

The Wild Steelhead Coalition, when formed, consisted mainly of gear fishermen who were NOT meat fishermen! The vast majority of gear fishermen want statewide wild steelhead release (aside from Mt. Vernon and Forks) and Bob's comments do nothing but give US flyfishermen an elitist label! His comments do nothing but hurt the wild steelhead of Washington's chance for survival.

Do not listen to Bob! And be optimistic,!! And get involved! And join a group such as the Wild Steelhead Coalition!!

Secondly, I apologize if Bob's original post was just a "Story from Boblawless" and thus, not actually serious.

· Registered
2,862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is true that there is no reason to piss off gear boys. We need every vote we can get. It's just that there is a big howl in this state about not closing the kill season on wild fish. When you look into this, you find that it is not the fly fishermen who are leading the charge to keep all waters open and that all fish, including wild steelhead, can be killed. Who then? Well, it's mainly locals who feel that the fish belong to them because that's the way it has always been. Almost all of these guys are gear people.
Whenever you generalize, you will always find people coming forward with an exception to the rule. I certainly understand this and I don't believe that "ignorant" really fits here..
But we should not allow this little bit of difference of opinion to cause us to go astray. I simply feel that it is up to the fly fishing community to save what few wild fish we have left. This is true because, while small in number, we can kick up a big fuss and that is why we must keep the pressure on. The clock is running and there are only a few hours left.

· Banned
126 Posts
>Well, it's mainly locals who feel that the fish belong
>to them because that's the way it has always been.
>Almost all of these guys are gear people.

And it is almost ALL flyfishermen that are targeting salmon on the NF Stilly in the Summer and Fall when the river is flyfishing only and CLOSED to fishing for salmon!

We do not look so good now, do we?

We are just as much part of the problem as gear fishermen and gear fishermen are just as much part of the solution as we are!

Outside of these local areas, there are very few gear fishermen I know of that kill wild steelhead. And well, inside these local areas, there are a few flyfishermen I know of that kill wild steelhead.

Again Bob, your rhetoric is going to get us NOWHERE!!!

· Registered
2,862 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have no desire to segregate anyone from anything. You miss my intent: it was simply to make flyfishermen further aware of their need, if not responsibily, to carry this fight forward. To suggest that my intent is otherwise is just poor reading.
As to elitism, I know of few, if any, true flyfishermen, including me, who are elitists. I cut my teeth on roe, and you beg the question, have you ever flyfished?
But I don't intend to start a shouting match as that profits no one.
You, sir, may have the last word as I will respond no more to this thread.
One last shot, given the circumstances we find ourselves in and given my experience with it all for the past fifty years, were I not pessimistic, I would conclude that I was either naive, stupid, or both.
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